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Nicaraguan exiles sink roots in Costa Rica as Ortega set for re-election -Breaking


© Reuters. FILEPHOTO: Nicaraguans living in exile in Costa Rica are protesting against President Daniel Ortega in advance of November’s Presidential Elections. REUTERS/Mayela Lopez/File Photo

By Daina Solomon

UPALA (Costa Rica) – Nicaraguans who fled across Costa Rica’s southern border to escape persecution expressed anger, sadness, and resignation in advance of Sunday’s elections. President Daniel Ortega will likely extend his rule, which he has been waging since the end of last year’s crackdown on its rivals.

Francisca Ramirez is one of 40 members of a diaspora consisting of exiles from Costa Rica. The number of these people could rise if Ortega increases his control.

With her husband, six children, and their dog, she fled to South America three years ago. They feared Ortega would jail her for protesting Ortega’s regime. Since June, Ortega’s police have put opponents behind bars or under house arrest, spurring more to leave

Ramirez thought that this move would only be temporary. Ramirez thought the move would be temporary. But, she and 80 other people now reside just south of it in an informal compound made up of wood homes. This seems to have become more permanent.

Ramirez (45) stated that “Tomorrow there won’t be elections… there’ll be voting imposed be a terrorist.” Her assistance is to get several hundred people together to an anti-Ortega rally in Costa Rica to coincide with voter turnout.

Ortega is an ex-Marxist guerrilla leader and Cold War antagonist from the United States. He claims he defends Nicaragua against foreign forces plotting to overthrow him.

Ramirez is asking for international pressure on Ortega to release political prisoners and dismantle paramilitary force, to allow exiles to return home, and to investigate authorities’ abuses.

She said that Nicaragua will be “a complete failure” if the United States and all other powers don’t act.

Carlos Cardoza, a Nicaraguan exile and 42-year-old driver, operates as a driver near Costa Rica’s Pacific coast border.

Cardoza stated, “There is so much pain and so much hatred,” referring to the victims of suppression of anti-Ortega protests that took place in 2018, which claimed more than 300 lives.

Five of his six younger siblings, he said, also lived in Costa Rica.

Ramirez stated that her family lived on the land between turkeys, hens, and Upala farther east. They had also fought to take their land in order to build a trans-oceanic channel. Ortega was the champion of the plan.

Migdonio Lopez Ramirez calls the group of wooden homes and dirt floors his “little Nicaragua.”

This was not meant to be permanent.

Lopez (55 years old) said Nicaragua would be “free” and that the plan was “to go back.”

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